I've only been Mormon for a few years and each year... Easter continues to fascinate me.
The first year, I noticed nobody wore big fancy and brightly colored Easter hats or outfits to Church (still single then, this changes with kids). Instead, there was a lot of beautiful music to celebrate Christ's resurrection and that He is risen, He suffered for us, and amazing testimonies of His love for us.
My second Easter was also Conference weekend, so much of my weekend was spent watching Conference, along with some Easter goody baskets I excitedly put together for Andy's cousins who were visiting us that weekend and one of my cousins. I think we also watched The Three Ninjas that weekend. Talk about throwback.
My third Easter was spent without any Easter baskets or eggs except for the growing egg inside my belly. We went to Church but maybe since I was without child, I didn't notice any of the cute Easter outfits any of the kids wore. I was too self absorbed in my own world, thinking of the cake I would make for a potluck dinner with close friends we were hosting that evening. Our water was shut off right before friends were about to come over for dinner but our own Easter miracle was that our friends just got a free table that fit all of us for dinner at their place instead.
My fourth Easter was a whirlwind of mini-chocolate eggs, plastic eggs, Easter baskets, and a picture perfect Easter dinner complete with a rainbowed colored tablespread, matching dinnerware, a delicious assortment of cookies (shaped like bunnies and eggs!), cake (lopsided again but still delicious), Cobb salad (my favorite!), ham (marinated in something sugary but my was it delicious), and potatoes and lots of family as we spent it with Andy's sister's family. I'm still on a sugar high and Andy and I are giddy over the assortment of candy we got from Jordan's baskets (he's too young for candy right?) Jordan is quite pleased with the music that comes from banging two eggs together and all the baby snacks he got in his baskets but not aware of why we've dressed him in bright orange Gingham to match his cousins.
I never knew much about Easter. To the rest of the world who do not know Jesus, it's a day of dyed eggs, Cadbury eggs, cute spring dresses, argyle sweaters in pastel colors, and don't forget the hats, champagne brunch, and sales. Since I've gained a testimony of Jesus, it's become a special day of remembrance, more than a normal Sunday despite renewing promises and commitments made each Sunday. And now that I have kids and have been exposed to family traditions, it's become a hybrid of uplifting reminders of the Atonement, of my Savior and His great sacrifice for me, as well as the overload of sugar, pastels, flowers, polka dots, argyle, and gingham. The key is to balance the two, but it's going to be so much fun to be near family who also celebrate Easter in two years. The best part is, I get a year to perfect my now traditional carrot cake, and a year to accumulate some ideas for baskets and activities for my kids.
I stole these photos from Tammy's post about Easter.